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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you ever tasted wild water?, March 31 2002
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This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
Stephen Buhner asks us, "Have you ever tasted wild water?" This is the question of heart in his book. From his own life he tells of his experiences with the world around us; his taste of wild water. It is poetic and beautiful and makes one long for a similar experience.
He goes on to explain what we have done to our environment that has affected the wild waters, plants, animals and land. Even simple things such as taking an aspirin affects the world around us. He shows why it is important to realize that we must be in relationship with the earth/water around us.
Most importantly he explains how to attain that relationship. Simple things that anyone can do.
It is a beautiful, poetic book of great substance and heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Silent Spring" for our times, Dec 20 2002
By 
Byron E. Butchart (Charlottesville, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
This is a book you should read, and unlike many "should" reads, this one is a real pleasure. Stephen has taken on a huge task with this book, and almost tries to cover too much ground, but he pulls it off with style and art. Once you get past the wonderful language and the perceptive viewpoint you will stumble on a scathing and accurate depiction of what mainstream medicine is doing to the environment. It is a picture that makes "Silent Spring" seem tame in comparison, and the book as a whole will lift you up out of your chair and get you moving to find answers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astonishing Work!, March 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book - the cover pulled me in. What I found was incredible! This book is an amazing blend of personal stories, poetry, and a deep analysis of the underlying reasons for the escalating human damage to the natural world. But the author doesn't stop there - he takes us even further, into solutions to the problems that face us as a species. He reveals the amazing language of plants - a language that human beings have always been able to tap into. And he shows how our modern emphasis on defining the world as a machine of interchangeable parts causes tremendous problems. The book explores how our machine analogy of the universe has led to the rise of pharmaceuticals in medicine and he explores, as I have seen nowhere else, the frightening impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment - many of which exceed agrochemicals in quantity. He contrasts this with plant medicines - ecological medicines - and reveals how plants have been used for medicine for millennia - how plants can alter their chemistries based on the information they receive from their surroundings - how they maintain all the earth ecosystems. The book outlines many exercises to help restore the ability to understand plant language and ends with stories from four environmental activists who also hear and understand the language of plants: John Seed in Australia, Rosemary Gladstar in Vermont, Carol McGrath in British Columbia, and Sparrow in Ecuador. This book truly is poetry and medicine for the soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, March 8 2010
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This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
Once you pick it up you can't put it down. Page after page is pure brilliance. A wealth of information but be prepared that it is hard to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shows consciousness in all things, Dec 29 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
Technical but not difficult to read. Shows how much we have lost by seeking the magic pill! Anyone interested in personal health should read this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sees plants as sentient beings adjusting to the environment, Jan. 6 2003
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
We are polluting the environment with pharmaceuticals developed to heal, and are losing the planet's natural healers and stabilizers in the process. In the The Lost Language Of Plants, Stephen Bohner sees plants as sentient beings adjusting to the environment: the discussion focuses on the importance of preserving plants which hold the key to healing both man and environment.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listening to plants, March 2 2003
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
A couple of summers ago, in the midst of a blackberry glut, I decided I should harvest some Oregon Grape berries to mix with blackberry for a good, sour jelly. But I needed a whole patch, and a few individual plants were all I knew. Before I got around to looking, I found myself on a walk, huffing and puffing up my favorite steep hill. In the middle, I just stopped - for no obvious reason - and looked up. All around me, in the midst of the salal, was a thicket of Oregon Grape, laden with berries! My brother-in-law and I came back and filled up buckets. The deep purple, astringent berries made a stunning blend with the blackberries, and the jelly set up beautifully. But most stunning, even after we ate it all up, was how the plant showed itself in a place I'd been through a hundred times before without ever noticing it.
Is that language? Maybe not But even if it only meant that I could make my jelly, it did have meaning, and to convey meaning is, after all, the purpose of language. The Lost Language of Plants is a book about meaning: not whether plants speak, or even how they speak, but what they say to us and we to them.
Buhner says there is meaning to Life, and that plants communicate it clearly and fully through their chemistry and biology. In human industrial culture, however, the common values of Life - birth, growth, death, and renewal - have mutated into progress, wealth, and poverty - the trinity of economic growth. As a result, billions of years of evolution are being pushed to favor waste over renewal, and death over Life. Under human control, Life is a mere by-product of a soul-less, cosmic machine that happens to have produced "resources" that we can consume until they're gone or until Life ends, whichever comes first.
"Imagine a ball of twine the exact size and shape of Earth," Buhner writes; "Better yet, telephone line. Take the end point of the line and weave it back into the beginning so that there is no beginning and no end. Every place the line crosses itself (you could think of them as synaptic junctions) messages cross over; communication travels quickly throughout the entire line itself as well. Academic disciplines are areas where a segment of line is cut out of the ball and studied. They explore its tensile strength, its molecular structure, its chemical composition, the colors and types of wires that run through it. Any communications that were flowing or might flow through it cannot be studied once it is cut out of the whole-only a tiny part of the picture can be seen. Misunderstandings easily arise, especially if the communications that flow through the line are the most important thing.
"Turn the ball of telephone line back into Earth. Each plant, plant neighborhood, plant community, ecosystem, and biome has messages flowing through it constantly-trillions and trillions of messages at the same time. The messages are complex communications between all the different parts of the ecosystem. There is no beginning and no end, no cause and no effect. The three-and-a-half-billion-year-old feedback loops of Earth are so closely intertwined that there is always another cause underneath whatever cause you begin with. Impacts at any one point affect every other point in the system. Life is so closely coupled with the physical and chemical environment of which it is a part that the two cannot legitimately be viewed in isolation from one another. As James Lovelock says: 'Together they constitute a single evolutionary process, which is self-regulating.'" (p 172)
If, as Buhner suggests, we are the language, and the language is us, and the meaning of that language is the beauty of Life itself, then redemption is not an airy philosophical postulate, but an experimental result within the realm of reason and, perhaps, within the realm of possibility.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Language of Plants, Nov. 21 2011
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
Wow! What an inspiring book. It is an incredible eye opener on how we affect ourselves, each other, and all we love (or hate) by our choices, and actions, as well as our inaction. Mr. Buhner captures the reader's heart and then pours information into it. Thank you for your wonderful vibrant gift of caring and sharing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, Informative, Eye-Opening, July 6 2002
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
Fascinating, informative and eye-opening, "The Lost Language of Plants" by Stephen Buhner shows us the life of evolving plant chemistries, revealing the science in the 'magic' of plants used as medicine by 4 of 5 people on the planet. A merciless exposé following the path of medical effluence through our soil, water, and air clearly illustrates effects on molecules as they change to affect generations to come... generations of all life: bacteria, plants, wildlife, and humans, as we reproduce. We have been participants in a medical experiment of reductionist technology for a few hundred years and the results are not widely known or circulated. Buhner's well-researched and brilliantly conceived presentation refutes any denial one may have harbored before reading this book.

Western thinking has its own way of seeing things and we live in the cradle of all that it produces. We see ourselves as an advanced society and display little use or respect for our elders, or those who have gone before us. Buhner's language unveils the illusion embedded within our language and our thinking, embodies ancient understanding and functional relationships, and reveals the complex communication between all parts of the eco-system. Stephen Buhner, as scientist, intellectual, storyteller and shaman, teaches us a language so that we may see differently. This is a passionate call to reconnect to our biocentric origins, to nature, to save our planet and ourselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a mind altering substance..., June 4 2002
By 
catbird (New York State, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicine to Life on Earth (Paperback)
I am halfway through this book and plan to start right over again when I'm finished. I think that this is one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. BUT, if you asked me what it is about I'd have a hard time explaining it. Yes, it is about how chemicals are seeping into the ecosystem, and how we might view plant medicine as an alternative etc, but it's about so much more than that. It's scientific and shamanistic at the same time, merging two ways of thinking into one. Really I should say, it explains one type of epistemology in the language of another. I really like it and it's changing my way of looking at the life around me. Also, my perception of God/spirituality etc. Check it out. PS. Mr Buhner thanks for such an interesting and thought provoking read! You are so right! KM
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